Flon Faurillo /
Network War Casualties
The stampede at what
was intended to be the first anniversary celebration of the TV game show
Wowowee at the PhilSports Arena (also known as the Ultra) in Pasig
City is being blamed mainly on laxity in crowd-control preparations on the
part of the program’s organizers. Not much attention is paid on the
network war as a factor that led to the stampede. ABS-CBN, for a long time
rated as the No. 1 Philippine television station, was recently dislodged
from its ranking by close rival GMA 7. Wowowee dangled tempting
prizes before viewers – most of whom come from the impoverished sectors of
society – as a means, among others, of boosting its own ratings and
beating its closest competitor, GMA 7’s Eat! Bulaga, the country’s
longest-running noontime show and currently considered the most popular.
Those who died in the Feb. 4 stampede can also be said to be casualties of
the network war.
Salungguhit literally means to
underline; figuratively, to
underscore or highlight.
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